Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Reducing costs in sheet metal production lines

A German tool-making company developed a 3D folding concept to be used as an automation module for sheet metal production lines.
Reducing costs in sheet metal production lines
Until now, a two-machine system solution has been used for forming purposes in production lines of switchboards, shelves, paneling and others. This German innovation involves one 3D folding machine offering scratch-free forming of sheet metals. Aided by special novelties, the forming of both front sides is accomplished using only one folding machine.

The process is very simple and is based on rolling of the forming punch on the plate surface by combined forming and stroke movement. Thereby, the sheet metal part is inserted into the 3D folding automatic system to form its front end. Having passed all the way through the forming punch, the second front side of the part is formed. No later labour-intensive work is required.

In comparison to the two-machine system, the one 3D folding machine features a shorter forming cycle per part, which is less than 4sec. Moreover, the larger the component, the less the time is required for its formation and the involved production cost. Additionally, its space requirements are less. Due to the general uses of moulded electric motors, it is more energy efficient and features extremely low noise levels.

Since the rolling process provides scratch-free forming of surface refined plates, the 3D folding technology is highly suitable for forming coated components. Combined to a new separation forming concept for the manufacture of coil components, the 3D concept could also be employed for waste-free separation and forming of surface refined metal tapes.

Partners active in the sheet-metal processing industry and automation industry are sought for a license agreement. This could involve the licensed construction of the 3D folding machine and the separation forming machine according to the utility model. Other tasks could involve procurement of interested users or producers of machines and plants as well as adaptation of the technology to the specific needs of the users.
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